Rear view of high school students walking in the school hallway.

French Immersion

Our French Immersion Program

French Immersion has been offered as an optional program from kindergarten to Grade 12 in our Board since 1981, and is one of the most effective methods known for learning a second language.

French Immersion begins in Kindergarten, Year 1 or Year 2.

In our Catholic schools, the French Immersion program is “Early Immersion.” Approximately 85% of instruction in kindergarten and Grade 1 is delivered in French. When English language arts, including reading, writing, and oral communication, are introduced in Grade 2, the percentage of French instruction is decreased to 75%. More English instruction is added while other subjects continue to be taught in French, following the same curriculum as the regular English program. By Grade 6, half of the instruction is in French and half is in English.

In secondary school, students are required to complete a combined total of ten credits in French and/or in other subjects taught in French to receive a certificate in French Immersion.

Early Immersion works well because it takes advantage of young children’s inherent inclination to learn languages, and their natural ability for mimicry, memorization, and repetition; they face new challenges with enthusiasm and an open mind. As the teacher communicates with them in French, they complete the same activities as their peers in the English program, and easily pick up the vocabulary and rhythm of the language.

Research shows that success in learning a language is directly related to the amount of time spent hearing and speaking it. The Board’s Early Immersion program offers students more time for learning French, and they naturally develop confidence and an ability to speak with native-like fluency.

Students studying in French through to Grade 12 have the opportunity to complete the Diplôme d’Études de Langue Française (DELF) test.  This test provides the students with the opportunity to become certified at an internationally recognized level of bilingualism.  This certification can be used for applications to post-secondary educational programs in Canada and in many other countries; it can also be used when applying for many bilingual jobs.

New French Immersion Options in Courtice

Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School is excited to announce a new French Immersion program beginning with Grade 9 in September 2020. An additional grade will be added in each successive year until full implementation is reached in September 2023.

Courtice families interested in Catholic Education now have a seamless French Immersion option from K to 12 beginning at Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary School and finishing at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School.

Locations of French Immersion Programs

 Elementary  Secondary
St. Anne Catholic Elementary School, Peterborough
St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School, Peterborough
St. Joseph Catholic Elementary School, Bowmanville (French Immersion Centre)
St. Michael Catholic Elementary School, Cobourg
St. Dominic Catholic Elementary School, Lindsay
Good Shepherd Catholic Elementary School, Courtice
St. Peter Catholic Secondary School, Peterborough
St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, Cobourg
St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School, Bowmanville
Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Courtice (Grade 9 beginning in September 2020)
St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, Lindsay

Career Opportunities

The French Immersion program is designed to lead to second language proficiency. Careers in fields such as education, national and foreign government service, travel and international work in commerce and industry are accessible to people who can communicate in more than one language.


The French Immersion program begins in kindergarten, Year 1. French Immersion information meetings are usually held prior to February kindergarten registration. Please contact your local French Immersion school for dates. Criteria for late entry can be discussed with the school principal.


Transportation is provided for qualifying students who live within the boundaries established for each school offering the French Immersion program. Use our tool to find the school nearest you.  If you live in the Peterborough Northumberland or Clarington counties, contact the Student Transportation Services of Central Ontario (STSCO) if you need additional assistance. If you live in the City of Kawartha Lakes , please contact Trillium Lakelands District School Board to arrange bussing.

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